130 artists, from JK Rowling to Mario Vargas Llosa, demanded that Putin release Navalny


More than 130 artists, writers and intellectuals, including six Nobel laureatesdemanded this Friday from Russian President Vladimir Putin the release of the imprisoned opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, against whom new criminal cases have been filed that could cost him life imprisonment.

“Navalny is serving prison terms based on charges that would never have been approved by a fair and independent court. We support the calls of the governments of Germany, the United States and the European Union that demand his immediate release. He is in your hands, ”says the open letter published by the Meduza digital portal.

They denounce that the politician has been locked up over and over again in a small concrete cell without ventilation as punishment for his alleged civil disobedience and that he is not allowed to visit family members or lawyers, or make phone calls.

“Despite having a high fever, he has to spend the whole day on his feet,” they lament, alluding to his recent illnesses, which made him lose up to eight kilos of weight.

Protesters call for the release of Navalny in Paris, France (REUTERS / Sarah Meyssonnier)
Protesters call for the release of Navalny in Paris, France (REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier) (SARAH MEYSSONNIER/)

The letter demands that Navalny be examined by independent doctors and allowed to receive medical attention as requested by 600 doctors, a hundred lawyers and another hundred Russian municipal deputies.

The letter was signed, among others, by six Nobel Prize winners for Literature -Mario Vargas Llosa, Svetlana Alexievich, Olga Tokarczuk, Herta Muller, Orhan Pamuk and John Coetzee-, in addition to JK Rowling, the actors Jude Law and Jean Reno, and the dancer of Russian origin Mikhail Barishnikov.

This week Navalny, who is already serving eight years in prison, sat in the dock in a new criminal case for extremism in relation to the activities of the outlawed Fund to Fight Corruption (FBK), which denounced cases of enrichment illegal in the Russian public administration.

In addition, the opponent announced that another case for terrorism has been filed against him, which will be tried by a military court and It could lead to life imprisonment or, failing that, up to 35 years in prison.

Navalny’s team has denied any connection to the murder earlier this month of military blogger Vladlen Tatarsky in a St. Petersburg coffee shop owned by Wagner Group chief Sergei Prigozhin.

The National Anti-Terrorist Committee blamed the attack on the Ukrainian secret services, which would have used people close to the FBK for the attack.

Several allies of the opposition are in exile, but have been included in the lists of terrorists and extremists of the Russian government.

Some opponents point out that Navalny, who has criticized the Russian military intervention in Ukraine from prison, will not see the light of day as long as Putin remains in power.

“We do not exclude that right now they are slowly poisoning Navalny. They kill him little by little so that he does not attract so much attention, ”said Kira Yarsmish, one of his closest collaborators and a spokesperson for the opposition, in a video posted last week on Twitter.

(With information from EFE)

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